The World on the Strip

It has been a very long time since my last post, as you may have noticed.  I’m back in Australia and have been enjoying some time appreciating the comforts of home, but before I get into that, I would like to tell you about the rest of my American adventure.  I believe I last left you in Vegas, and well, that’s where I’ll pick up.

The hotels in Las Vegas were phenomenal.   Each hotel was like it’s own world, a world where gambling was the dominant pass-time.  We stayed in the fabulous Bellagio, which oozed extravagance.

Hallway to our room at the Bellagio
Bellagio Lobby
The entrance of the Bellagio was always buzzing with cabs and limos 

Mum and I spent many hours – and dollars – at the $10 Black Jack table at the Bellagio.  We lost money but we made it last, had fun and got free piña coladas.  The free-drinks-whilst-gambling system is an effective one.  We’d order a drink, and even though we might be up on chips and ready to leave, we would stay to wait for our drinks – and in my experience – always lose money.

It was easy to see that the house always won when you looked at the ridiculously expensive decor and architecture.  The Venetian must have housed some serious losses, because their decorations were amazing.  The ceiling of the Venetian was covered in copies of Titian’s paintings – but probably at least twice as large, there was gold, mask shops, and sculptures, but  most impressive was the huge canal that ran through the center of the hotel.  The blue water was float on by gondolas and the sky was painted on the roof, and seemed like it was moving.  I’ve been to Venice, and I can say it was similar, but the Vegas-Venice, like most American things, was bigger and more theatrical.  Mum also remarked it was cleaner than Venice.

Canal in the Venetian
The gondoliers sang on the canal
St. Mark’s Square in the Venetian
Every detail was thought of, included carved wooden underwear to depict the washing hanging over the canals in Venice

Every hotel was full of detail.  Having just come from New York, I was impressed by the New York, New York Hotel.  I managed to get a better photo of the Vegas Statue of Liberty than the New York one.  This hotel had a roller coaster, and inside all the alleys looked like mini New York streets.

New York, New York hotel
When we were watching the Bellagio fountains danced to “In the Mood”

Although we were staying at the Bellagio, we kept missing their famous fountains.  We caught glimpses, but never the whole show.  On night on our way home after a huge buffet dinner (buffets in Vegas were amazing), just as were remarking on this the water began to stir and music blared from the speakers.  The fountain show began, and to Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood”.  This song had a special significance for my Mum and me as it was my Nanna’s favourtie, and so as we watched the fountains it felt like she put them on for us.  It was pretty cool.

Excalibur Hotel/castle

The Excalibur hotel looked like a castle, and inside was decked out with stained glass and chandeliers.  Vegas really did feel like a play ground – like an expensive trip through the imagination.

In Vegas we went to two shows.  We saw, at my brother’s recommendation, The Blue Man Group.  I had no idea what to expect, and now even having seen it I can’t really describe it.  The show was three men, painted blue, who did not speak.  They had some mime acts, included the audience, played music and used colour.  It was pretty cool, but weird.  My favourite part by far was when they dragged reams of paper over the audience.  It was a pretty cool experience.

Blue Man Group

We also saw, Vegas! The Show, which was a history of Las Vegas/musical.  The costume designer clearly had a thing for bums, as all the women’s costumes managed to incorporate a G-string.  The performers were excellent and the story interesting.  Vegas is a place like nothing I have ever seen, or can think of.  I would love to know more about the way it has evolved.

Vegas! The show

So there it was, the world on one shiny street.  Vegas is such a playground for adults with money.  It simulates world travel, fills the belly, excites the eyes and empties the wallet.

The world on the strip

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